Jon 'Bones' Jones, Cris Cyborg and the Continued Overlap Between UFC and WWE

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 3, 2017

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Jon Jones poses for a portrait backstatge after his victory over Daniel Cormier during the UFC 214 event at Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Talk of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones potentially stepping into the WWE spotlight shouldn't surprise anyone. The two worlds have long bled into each other.

UFC 214, in particular, was a reminder of that. Two of the bigger talking points to emerge from the July 29 pay-per-view related. Featherweight Cris Cyborg was busy challenging SmackDown's Becky Lynch to a match at SummerSlam before kneeing Tonya Evinger into oblivion.

And after the night's main event, Jones stood triumphantly in the Octagon with the light heavyweight title around his waist with a new target in his sights: WWE universal champ Brock Lesnar.

Bones called out The Beast Incarnate, daring him to come back to UFC:

That potential superfight, though, may not be Jones' only connection to the squared circle. Hall of Fame pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross stirred up talk of the otherworldly MMA talent working with WWE at some point.

Ross wrote on his blog, "Word on the street is that Jones is also interested in a WWE payday some day in the future which adds some irony to the Bones-Brock UFC scenario."

Perhaps it would be connected to his UFC battle with Lesnar. If that's the case, he may just need to show his face to create buzz.

John Canton of UPROXX wrote, "I can see a scenario where he's seated at ringside at the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania and they can have an altercation that gets people talking that way." 

But perhaps Jones is contemplating adding pro wrestling to his resume once he's done in the Octagon.

He wouldn't be the first to make that jump. A pair of icons from UFC's earliest days both did so in the '90s. Ken Shamrock followed one of his UFC stints with a WWE tenure that saw him face The Rock, Undertaker and others. Dan Severn also wrestled for the sports entertainment giant, performing at both the 1998 King of the Ring tournament and the 1999 Royal Rumble.

The WWE paychecks lured the fighters in. They brought an aura of legitimacy and toughness to the product, one the company certainly welcomed.

That applies to Ronda Rousey, too.

The pioneer for women in UFC didn't wrestle for WWE but still crossed over to the worked sport. She showed up at WrestleMania 31 and took down both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H in one of the event's most talked about moments.

Rousey's friend and former UFC fighter Shayna Baszler is going much further.

She has made a full-on transition into pro wrestling. Most recently, WWE signed her for its inaugural women's tournament, the Mae Young Classic.

Perhaps Cyborg will eventually join Baszler as the next UFC fighter to work for WWE.

She and Lynch have been trading shots on Twitter for a long time. It doesn't matter that they aren't part of the same sport. They both clearly want to collide at SummerSlam.

And they have been campaigning hard to do just that.

For both the athletes and the companies involved, this merging of worlds is mutually beneficial. WWE welcoming Jones would bring added eyes and increased media attention. 

We've seen that play out with Lesnar, who is among the biggest draws in UFC history.

The beastly powerhouse left WWE in 2004 and eventually ended up in the Octagon where he became the UFC heavyweight champion. When Lesnar got the itch to fight again, he took on Mark Hunt at UFC 200 while still under contract with WWE.

UFC fans and company president Dana White may want to dismiss pro wrestling as fake, but the dollars he generated with Lesnar thanks in part to WWE were anything but.

The same was true for CM Punk.

The former WWE champ's foray into fighting created a wealth of headlines. While he was 0-0 in MMA, he was a bonafide star. UFC didn't shy away from using Punk's wrestling name and gave him a shot at the big time based on his stardom, not his prowess.

UFC and WWE will always scratch each other's backs. 

Just as WWE was eager to use Rousey's name by spotlighting her taking in the Mae Young Classic, UFC was happy to welcome WWE's Eva Marie to talk UFC on Fox.

Conor McGregor has borrowed Ric Flair's swagger and Vince McMahon's strut. WWE wrestlers commonly implement MMA moves from the keylock to the triangle choke into their in-ring repertoire.

There is enough in common with the two enterprises to make for logical transitions back and forth. There are millions of dollars waiting to be made on both sides of the table. Star power is shared, audiences meld into each other, and the symbiotic relationship rolls on. 

Should Jones start doing his spin kicks in the squared circle, he'd simply be carrying on a tradition.